Reasons for Eviction
Under California law, a landlord may evict a tenant if the tenant has committed any of the following acts: failed to pay rent; violated a provision of the lease; damaged the property; interfered with other tenants; committed domestic violence or a sexual assault involving another tenant; used the property for unlawful purposes; engaged in dealing, cultivating or manufacturing drugs on the property; or committed a crime involving weapons on the property.
If a landlord plans to evict a tenant, the landlord must first give the tenant a three-day written notice. If the reason for the eviction is non-payment of rent, the notice must also include the exact amount of rent owed, the name, address and telephone number of the landlord or the person to whom the rent must be paid and the times the person is available to receive the payment. The landlord may also direct the tenant to pay the rent at a financial institution if it is within five miles of the property. If the reason for the eviction is other than non-payment of rent then the landlord must describe the reason for the eviction and give the tenant the option to correct the violation if possible. The tenant must either correct the problem or vacate the premises within the three days or the landlord may file a formal eviction proceeding.
A landlord cannot physically remove a tenant or lock the tenant out of the property. Landlords must use the proper court procedure to evict a tenant in California. If the landlord files a formal eviction proceeding in court you will be notified by the court. Eviction proceedings are summary proceedings meaning that they move faster through the court system than other cases. For instance, you may have as few as five days to file a written response to the eviction. You will also likely have a court date within 20 days. At the court hearing, both sides may present evidence and testimony. If the court finds in favor of the tenant then the tenant will not have to move. If the court finds in favor of the landlord the court will enter a writ of possession and the tenant will have five days to move or be forcefully removed by the sheriff.